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MPD Issues Statement in Deonte Rawlings Case

Thursday, September 4, 2008
MPD has concluded administrative investigation.

“I stand by the findings of the investigative team and the Board.  I recognize that many lives have been affected.  Now that the matter has been closed, it is my sincere hope that the officers involved in the incident, the community, and the Department will be able to move forward and mend,” said Chief Lanier.


The Metropolitan Police Department announced Thursday, September 4, 2008 that it has concluded the administrative investigation into the September 17, 2007 fatal shooting of 14-tear-old DeOnté Rawlings by an off duty police officer.  The investigation was reviewed by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Use of Force Review Board, and the Board has decided that the Use of Force in this case was Justified and within Department policy. 

On May 1, 2008 the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Columbia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Washington Field Office, announced that they were closing their seven-month long investigation and would not pursue criminal charges relating to Rawlings’ death.  Once the declination was issued by the USAO, the Metropolitan Police Department immediately began an administration investigation.

The investigation was conducted by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Force Investigation Team within the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.  Pursuant to Department policy, FIT investigates all incidents involving serious uses of force.  After a thorough investigation and a careful review and analysis by experienced investigators of all the available evidence, FIT determined that the use of force in this case was both justified, and within Department policy.  Evidence considered in the investigation included physical and forensic evidence, autopsy results, Shotspotter data, and firearms and paint analysis. As part of the investigation, the FBI and MPD conducted multiple neighborhood canvasses and personal interviews.

Pursuant to Department policy, the FIT findings were forwarded to the Use of Force Review Board.  The five-member Board reviews all investigations involving the serious use of force.  Following its review, the Board confirmed the FIT findings, concluding that the use of force was justified, and during the course of the incident the subject officer did not violate Department policy.  The finding by the Board today concludes the Department’s administrative inquiry into and review of this matter.